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Audio Formats

If you are not familiar with audio codecs, this page is here to provide you with technical information.

Trust Music automatically encodes the artists music files to various audio formats using the best algorithms.
A same music is therefore available for download in multiple formats that the listener can choose from.
An optional second format can also be selected. For example, you may want to download a song in MP3 192Kbps for your phone, but also get a 96KHz FLAC version for your latest home cinema.

If you don't know which format to choose, you may simply keep the default MP3 256Kbps.

MP3

The most common lossy audio format. Lossy means loss of quality to reduce the file size.
The MP3 format is the worst choice for quality but it will work on any device, from pocket players to car radios.
Please note that a few devices may not play MP3 files in VBR format (Various Bit Rate)

OGG-vorbis

Vorbis (within ogg, commonly named ogg-vorbis) is a free and open-source audio compression algorithm.
Its quality exceeds the one of the MP3 algorithm for the same file size but it is less common. Although most software players can read OGG many devices do not support it.

FLAC

FLAC stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec.
Lossless means there is NO loss of quality during the compression, just like a zip file.
FLAC is a free and open-source project. It is the best choice provided you have a player to read it. Players that support FLAC include VLC, Winamp, WBMC, Plex, Samsung smartphones, Androids since 2011, and more.

WAV

WAVE is the raw, uncompressed audio format resulting in large files.
It is usually the one to use if you wish to burn an audio CD from your downloads (choose 44.1KHz 16bits in that case)
It is important to understand that FLAC sounds strictly the same as WAV but results in files twice smaller. Your CD burning software may support FLAC.

What is Kbps and VBR?

Kbps stands for Kilo bits per second.
It is the number of bits (not to be confused with Bytes written with an uppercase B) of file size per second of music. A file compressed at 256Kbps will be twice bigger than the same music at 128Kbps, but will sound better.

For example, a 5 minutes music encoded at 320 Kbps will result in a file of 300s x 320Kbps = 96,000 Kb.
There are 8 bits in 1 Byte. Therefore, 96,000 Kb is 12,000 KB.

You may conclude that this 5 minutes music will be a 12MB file, and it is almost true.
In computing, Kilo, Mega, Giga, etc. are not multipliers by 1000 but by 1024.
So 12,000 KB is about 11.7MB.
As a comparison to lossy formats, an uncompressed WAV file in 16/44.1 is 1378Kbps which is 50.5MB for 5 minutes.

VBR means Variable BitRate.
It is a clever technique that allows the quality (Kbps) to vary depending on the musical needs.
For example, a nearly silent part does not require a high quality while a complex drums solo needs a higher bitrate.
On Trust Music, the MP3 VBR varies around an average of 256 Kbps while the OGG HQ is a VBR around 500Kbps.
If you intend to play on a physical device such as a car radio, make sure first that it can read VBR files.

How do artists upload their music?

Artists upload their music in WAV or FLAC format only, at 44.1KHz or 96KHz, in 16 or 24 bits.
Trust Music servers take care of the conversion into all formats with the most optimized encoding algorithms.

If the artist uploaded their music in 24/96 format, more very HQ formats will be available for the listeners.
It is not recommended, and absurd for artists to up-sample their recordings. Artists should always upload the original version of their best audio file and never re-sample their master.

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